The Vancouver Block Building marks 100 years on Granville this year and according to a Twitter update from user @jesswads to Bob from Vancouver is Awesome, there was cake to celebrate this week. With its neon clock and photogenic white tower, it’s today’s Vancouver Icon photo feature:
The building, at 736 Granville Street, is currently owned by Equitable Real Estate: “Completed in 1912, the Vancouver Block is one of Vancouver’s most distinctive landmarks. Characterized by the large illuminated clock tower set atop its fifteen-storey height, the Vancouver Block was one of the most impressive structures designed by the prolific architectural firm of Parr & Fee.”
“The heritage value of the Vancouver Block lies in its location near the intersection of Granville and Georgia streets in downtown Vancouver, as a symbol of the Edwardian optimism and rapid growth in Vancouver’s economy and urban fabric in the early twentieth century, in its association with the architectural firm of Parr and Fee, in its landmark status, and in its unique representation of the Edwardian Commercial style.” [Historic Places]
“The Vancouver Block was built by Dominic Burns, whose brother Pat built Burns Meats into a cross-Canada powerhouse. Burns hired prominent architects John Parr and Thomas Fee to design a 17-storey building that stretched over three lots and soared 265 feet into the sky.”
“The clock face is 21 feet in diameter, was made of sand-blasted glass, and weighed two tons when it was installed. In 1927, the familiar red and blue neon was added. For many years, the clock was topped by neon signs for three gas companies, “76” (Union Oil), Shell and B/A (British-American).” [Vancouver Sun]
Back in 1998 the neon was removed from the clock, only to return 2 years later. Frances Bula found the answer to this mystery.
Other Vancouver Icons posts include: Bloedel Conservatory, Centennial Rocket, Canada Place, Old Courthouse/Vancouver Art Gallery, Dominion Building, Science World, Gastown Steam Clock, SFU Burnaby, Commodore Lanes, Siwash Rock, Kitsilano Pool, White Rock Pier, Main Post Office, Planetarium Building, Lord Stanley Statue, Vancouver Library Central Branch, Victory Square, Digital Orca, The Crab Sculpture, Girl in Wetsuit, The Sun Tower, The Hotel Vancouver, The Gassy Jack Statue, The Marine Building, and The Angel of Victory. Should you have a suggestion for the Vancouver Icons series please feel free to leave a note in the comments. It should be a thing, statue, or place that is very visible and recognizable to the public.